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Thread: my laser and laser building questions thread

  1. #1
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    Default my laser and laser building questions thread

    OK. So first I'd like to say I own and operate some 1W laser projectors and I also make and sell some laser frames and animations. I've taken a laser safety course and understand the laser dangers, risks and safety.
    But it all started as a wallet-blackhole hobby and still is a hobby. Jut nothing out there I can compare to the awe from cool bright laser graphics and beams.
    I've been more into making abstracts and other animations for laser projectors. My electronics knowledge is very limited. Though I've replaced fans and taken apart complete laser projectors and replaced damaged laser modules so not a complete noob either I guess.

    Now I want to make my own lasers and learn some more how the tools I've used work internally. I don't want to make my own laser projectors or real laser modules with modulation etc control, nor a handheld laser. Just my own home lasers I can turn on/off and see how much I can improve and how bright I can get them

    The tutorials on Youtube on making a red laser from old dvd burners were a piece of cake to follow.
    But they don't go any deeper than that.

    I want to know how to make brighter lasers (multi-diode lasers), actually have some idea how I should set up proper cooling and stuff like that. And info on those are hard to find, limited or if any, a bit confusing for me at least.

    I know this is going to be difficult, time consuming and costy, but most importantly fun
    So hope you guys will be patient with all the questions I have now and help me get somewhere. I'll post pics and videos of my results as I progress.

    BTW, I also have two 3d printers, another newer hobby of mine. Taken those apart several times already as well.

    OK, so I guess my first questions will be:

    1) What are the methods of combining several laser diodes? I've seen videos with homemade lasers reaching all the way up to 7W, but can't get in contact with the creators and learn from them.
    I've only found out the particular method they've used for their multi-diode lasers is called "knife edge array" but what tools they used to make such array, or how they decreased the diameter of the combined laser beam and stuff like that?

    2) What is the basic things I should know about laser cooling? All I know now is they should be cooled or will die after certain amount of time and the commercial laser modules use heatsinks, fans and TEC coolers, but what's the desired temps, how temperature affects laser power and other parameters, etc I don't know.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Well, seems you have not luck on replies.
    Many years ago I worked on a laser show company. I had the luck to work with several ionic lasers Ar/Kr, such, Coherent (purelight), Ar American Laser, and my preferred Ar Brand..Spectra Physics...Oh Man, what a fantastic stuff!

    Lasers fascinated me since I was a child, so one year ago, I decided to 'start' again with my passion and learn all about diode lasers. This is awesome, not the quality that ionic lasers do, but, on the other hand, no large 10-15Kw power supplies, no water-cooling heads...I can run my 5w projector on my house on standard plug AC!

    Also, the price on galvos was prohibitive on 90s...now, you can purchase chinese galvos at 100usd for great beam shows,,,

    So, what I want to say... here, at PL, there are lots of experts and talented people also amazing posts. All I have learned IS HERE!.
    But, I've spend many months, and read hundreds threads...many many hours...like the holy-grail red correction thread..hahaha this is epic!
    So, I encourage you on the trip I did, read, read, find, find, discover! and this is really exciting! even more than perhaps when doing the laser itself!

    Jordi
    Last edited by jors; 01-18-2015 at 08:19.

  3. #3
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    Most of your questions can be answered by just reading a lot of the older threads in the advanced discussion area... just start paging through the threads and read the ones with lots of replies that look interesting. Read anything "planters" posts and watch all of his videos on youtube. Very educational!

  4. #4
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    Ditto what tribble said.

    Search the forums for info... its pretty much all been covered before, multiple times, hence none of the more informed have jumped in to answer your questions... probably. Or they're just busy
    If in doubt... Give it a clout?

  5. #5
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    Two quick leads:

    A red knife-edging example:
    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...t=knife+edging

    Planters' youtube channel:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVS...taPd5lYz48--yg

  6. #6
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    Yes...what Wookie said. I seem to jump in an answer a lot of new peoples questions, provided they're not too technical as I'm only about 5 years into this myself but, I'm starting my 6th work day in a row that's been running from roughly 8 am to midnight and I simply don't have any time to answer you.

  7. #7
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    Well whenever you guys have the time then

    But finding all the info by browsing through about 300000 posts and 20000 threads is a bit unrealistic, especially when a lot of them are arguments/bashings/etc with little interesting info buried deep. Forum search tools never worked for me either, either they're not so great or I suck at them. If it was easy I wouldn't waste my and your time creating a thread about it, alot of info on laser and lase projectors is readily available and easy to find, some just isn't (or I again suck at searching)...
    Last edited by pliskin; 01-19-2015 at 08:08.

  8. #8
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    Just a single color several Watt laser. No different wavelength diodes (and dichros), no modulation, not a hanheld/pointer, not a projector, just a one-color laser. Just for fun.
    I hope this answered what you needed to know.

  9. #9
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    Well, always remember, these are not toys, you could easily burn your eyes..so ALWAYS LASER GOOGLES!!!

    Easiest way (at least for me)
    -Buy a module here:
    https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home/diodes

    Soldering diodes is not easy if you have no skills on this, so DTR sells diodes soldered inside module, along with driver inside (no analog modulation). This is the easy way.

    If you want to go for blue, for instance:
    https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf...odes/9mm-445nm

    you can buy: "445nm 9mm Diode In Copper Module W/2.4A X-Drive & Three Element Glass"
    3 elements lens give you better laser spot, also less divergence (spot is a stripe). If you go with G2 lens, you obtain more power, but need external collimation lenses, because laser dot is a big stripe, this is a more complicated setup.
    You can achieve 2W or more of blue.

    You need 9V PSU for the driver.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/9V-3A-Switch...-/251038152327

    Next step: add heatsink

    https://shop.z-bolt.com/Heat-Sink-fo...ules_p_13.html
    Order it along with a Fan. Fan is screwed on top of heatsink. It runs at 12v, But for not long laser times, you could run fan at 9V along with the laser driver (same PSU). Just connect driver and fan in parallel.

    About Knife edge:
    https://www.lasertack.com/en/mikro-spiegelschnitt-modul

    you need 4 SINGLE-MODE diodes here along with 4 little mirrors.
    example for red:
    https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf...iode-hl63133dg
    You could get +700mW on this setup
    http://laserpointerforums.com/f51/re...ers-77449.html

    Knife edge-stacking quad multimode diodes is another story...
    About TEC, needed o no, it depends on your setup...

    Hope this helps

  10. #10
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    Thanks mate.
    Well like I said I have two laser projectors and make a little profit from them and have taken laser safety course, so no worries.

    So i guess knife edge (+ optional polarizing cube for parallel arrays setup) is the only or only practical way to combine several same wavelength diodes/ get several Watts?

    I think I'm struggling most with figuring out how to use cooling and lenses. I know I can add heatsinks and fans on them like the commercial modules do, but what setup (size, shape, type of fan) is enough for what amount of duty cycle. or what temps are best and how temperature change affects the diodes. Spec sheets just list min and max working tems. Don't want to waste power from bad cooling or damage diodes.

    And no idea what lenses to use to parallel beams

    into a single beam.

    Rest is clear so far.

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